Ontario leads the country in number of times it has to be bailed out by the Canadian Armed Forces. Woot! My Canadian journalist friends (Kate Heartfeld is the originator) have taken to calling Doug Ford and his team incompetent murderclowns, and it is very apt. They have gotten people killed due to their incompetence and their ideology. We thought Ford handled the first stages of the pandemic well, closing things down last March. But ever since, he and his government have failed, pretty much every step along the way. It is really impressive. So, the question is: if one wants to be an incompetent murder clown, what should one do?
- Put the "" in "lockdown." Ontario's lockdowns have never been close to what the Europeans think when one locks down. There have been plenty of exceptions which have allowed COVID to breed. What the hell is a PR firm having people come into work?
- When you do lock down, close parks and other outside activities even though we know that outside is the safest place to be.
- Waste the summer. Last summer, cases went down, but we knew that a second wave was coming. It would have been a great time to set up extensive contact/tracing so that outbreaks could be identified and stopped. It would have been a great time to improve the ventilation in schools across the province, as it was getting pretty clear that this thing travels by air, not by touch.
- Make sure that the rules governing schools would exceed the ability to do tests, so that kids and their families would be out in the cold, trying to get tested early in the day.
- Make sure that you don't use the tests the feds provide.
- Refuse to give paid sick leave to those who work for hourly wages. When pressed, provide for three days because, you know, the time from detection of the disease to when one is symptom-free and not infectious is ... three days? This failure was so clearly illustrated by Ford having to quarantine for ten days after being exposed to someone with the disease--he got his paid leave, but those hourly workers? Nope. Given the uneven distribution of jobs, this set of policies has exacerbated the inequality in the impact of the pandemic, harming families from marginalized groups.
- Do not prepare the Long Term Care Facilities run/regulated by the province, underpay those who work there, so that they work at multiple places and thus providing vectors for COVID. This doctor was suitably outraged today. And deservedly so since the lessons of last spring, where thousands died in these facilities, were ignored so that we can do it all over again with only the vaccines limiting the damage.
- If you have to lockdown near a holiday, make sure you do it after most people have already hung out with each other. The December 26th lockdown was particularly appalling since it was timed to happen after families had gotten together. The general pattern of being slow to lock down, quick to open really was great for Ford's friend--Mr. COVID.
- Pay a retired general a shit ton of money to "roll out the vax" but not actually produce a clear system of registering for appointments or prioritizing folks like teachers and day care providers. The way Ottawans got the first rounds of vaccines was by being lucky after trying many outlets. Other provinces had systems that were easy to sign up, easy to get a specific time, etc. Montreal had a mass vax facility downtown that took people less than thirty minutes to get shots when they were expanded to those over 40.
- When the variants are starting to hit Ontario, open up the system even though it was not just a predictable disaster but a predicted one. And no, this is not a deep fake video.
Here's a question posed to Ontario public health officials after they gave a modelling update.— CTV News (@CTVNews) February 11, 2021
"Am I missing something here, or is this presentation predicting a disaster?"
"I don't think you're missing anything." pic.twitter.com/RPmlQnP6RB
I am sure I have left out other ways that Doug Ford and his team of irresponsibles have been aiding and abetting COVID-19. But this list is a good start if you want to become an incompetent murder clown.
What happens when incompetent murderclowns run amok during a pandemic? You get a murder circus (thanks, Dale). People have died because the Premier of Ontario does not want the costs to fall on small businesses (which is something he could ameliorate), because folks who are hostile to government are crappy at governing, and because he really is just too stubborn to learn. This pandemic was going to hit hard, but it did not have to be this way. So many unforced errors. There were opportunities to do better, science that signaled better responses. Some provinces in Canada handled this well. Ontario is not one of them. The competition right now is between Jason Kenney of Alberta and Doug Ford of Ontario to be the most murderous incompetent murderclown.